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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Aug 11, 2013 8:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What It’s Like to Tell NSA and DEA "blow me!!"

The NSA and DEA can Blow Me!!
dead-head_Monte-pot_smoking_window.gifThe U.S. Department of Justice has begun reviewing a controversial unit inside the Drug Enforcement Administration that uses secret domestic surveillance tactics — including intelligence gathered by the National Security Agency — to target Americans for drug offenses. According to a series of articles published by Reuters, agents are instructed to recreate the investigative trail in order to conceal the origins of the evidence, not only from defense lawyers, but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges. "We are talking about ordinary crime: drug dealing, [mmj], organized crime, money laundering. We are not talking about national security crimes," says Reuters reporter John Shiffman. Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, says this is just the latest scandal at the DEA. "I hope it is a sort of wake-up call for people in Congress to say now is the time, finally, after 40 years, to say this agency really needs a close examination."

Domestic Surveillance Scandal at the DEA? - excerpts below from Democracy Now, August 6, 2013...

JOHN SHIFFMAN: Well, my colleague Kristina Cooke and I spoke with about a dozen or two dozen agents and obtained some internal documents that showed that what federal agents, not just DEA agents but other agents who work with the DEA and do drug investigations — what they’re doing is, is they are starting — they are claiming that their investigations start, say, at step two. They are withholding step one from the investigations. And, I should say, it’s not just NSA intercepts. It’s informant information, information obtained from court-ordered wiretaps in one case, and using those for information in a second case. They also have a large database of phone records. Whenever the DEA subpoenas or does a search warrant and gets phone records for someone suspected of involvement in drugs or gang involvement, they put all those numbers into one giant database they call DICE, and they use that information to compare different cases. All of the collection is — seems perfectly legitimate, in terms of being court-ordered. What troubles some critics is the fact that they are hiding that information from drug defendants who face trial. The problem with that is that — is that these defendants won’t know about some potentially exculpatory information that may affect their case and their right to a fair trial.

AMY GOODMAN: So explain exactly how this information is being hidden from judges, prosecutors and sometimes defense attorneys, as well.

JOHN SHIFFMAN: Sure. Well, just to give an example, through any of these four different ways, including the NSA intercepts, the DEA’s Special Operations Division will send the information to a DEA agent in the field or a FBI agent or an ICE agent or state policeman, and they’ll give him the information. Then they’ll say, "Look, you know, we understand that there will be a truck going to a certain park in Texas at a certain time. It’s a red truck. It’ll be two people involved." And the state trooper or the DEA will find you reason to pull the truck over, say for a broken tail light or for speeding, that sort of thing. And, lo and behold, inside the trunk they’ll find, you know, a kilo of cocaine. The people who have been arrested will never know that — why the police or the DEA pulled them over. They’ll think it’s just luck. And that’s important because if those people try to go to trial, there are pieces of information about how that evidence was obtained and what it shows and what other pieces of it show — might affect their trial.

AMY GOODMAN: On Monday, I spoke with Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald just after your story broke about how the DEA is using material gathered in part by the NSA in its surveillance of Americans. Glenn Greenwald has, of course, broken several major stories about the NSA’s domestic activity. This was his response.

GLENN GREENWALD: So this should be a huge scandal for the following reason. The essence of the Constitution is that the government cannot obtain evidence or information about you unless it has probable cause to believe that you’ve engaged in a crime and then goes to a court and gets a warrant. And only then is that evidence usable in a prosecution against you. What this secret agency is doing, according to Reuters, it is circumventing that process by gathering all kinds of information without any court supervision, without any oversight at all, using surveillance technologies and other forms of domestic spying. And then, when it gets this information that it believes it can be used in a criminal prosecution, it knows that that information can’t be used in a criminal prosecution because it’s been acquired outside of the legal and constitutional process, so they cover up how they really got it, and they pretend—they make it seem as though they really got it through legal and normal means, by then going back and retracing the investigation, once they already have it, and re-acquiring it so that it looks to defense counsel and even to judges and prosecutors like it really was done in the constitutionally permissible way. So they’re prosecuting people and putting people in prison for using evidence that they’ve acquired illegally, which they’re then covering up and lying about and deceiving courts into believing was actually acquired constitutionally. It’s a full-frontal assault on the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and on the integrity of the judicial process, because they’re deceiving everyone involved in criminal prosecutions about how this information has been obtained.

AMY GOODMAN: John Shiffman, if you could elaborate on that and also talk about the differences between what the DEA is doing and what Glenn Greenwald exposed around the NSA?

JOHN SHIFFMAN: Sure. These are two very — I think they’re different topics, for one main reason, which is that the NSA revelations by Mr. Greenwald and Mr. Snowden are related to terrorism — or at least that’s what we’re told by the government. And the DEA, what the DEA is doing is only — very rarely do they get involved in terrorism. I mean, they do some narcoterrorism, but inside the United States we’re talking about ordinary crime. We’re talking about drug dealing, organized crime, money laundering. We’re not talking about national security crimes.

The one thing I would say is that the defense analysts I’ve spoken with, meaning defense attorney analysts, they emphasize less the probable cause aspect of it than they find — they don’t find that as troubling. What they find really troubling is the pretrial discovery aspects of this and a prosecutor’s, you know, obligation to turn over any exculpatory evidence. What they really have a problem with is that this program systematically excludes or appears to systematically exclude all evidence obtained, you know, that’s hidden from view, so the defense doesn’t know to request it. They find that a lot more troubling than the probable cause aspects of it. The Supreme Court has given a pretty wide pro-police interpretation of when probable cause can be obtained, and there are a variety of exceptions. But it’s really the pretrial discovery part of it that seems to trouble a lot of the former judges and defense attorneys and prosecutors.

AMY GOODMAN: One of the two slides Reuters obtained that were used to train agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency instructs them in the use of parallel construction. According to the slide, this is, quote, "the use of normal investigative techniques to recreate the information provided by the [Special Operations Division]," such as subpoenaed domestic telephone calls. A second slide instructs agents that such evidence, quote, "cannot be revealed or discussed." The slide is titled "Special Operations Division Rules." Describe what you uncovered about those rules and this concept of parallel construction, which until now had not been publicly discussed in writing.

JOHN SHIFFMAN: Well, what really surprised me was talking to agents, current and former agents, who said, "Sure, we do that." They — half of them said, "Yeah, you know, I could see how people might have a problem with that." The other half said, "You know, look, this is a hard job that we do, and we’re going after criminals and drug dealers." The people that got the most offended, I think, were the lawyers, the prosecutors and the — you know, and the judges and the former judges. One current prosecutor told me that he had a case where — in Florida, where a DEA agent came to him with a case and said that it began with an informant. So they were proceeding with the case, and the prosecutor asked the DEA agent more information. He said, you know, "I need to know more about your informant." Turns out, ultimately, that he found out that there was no informant. It was an NSA wiretap. And what — overseas. And that really upset the prosecutor, because he said that it really offended his sense of fair play and honesty. And he said, "It’s just a bad way of starting an investigation, if you’re going to start with a lie."

Colorado Amendment 20 - Medical Marijuana, passed in 2000


Colorado Amendment 64 - Retail Marijuana, passed in 2012

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Aug 12, 2013 7:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What It’s Like to Tell NSA and DEA 'blow me!!'

NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens' emails and phone calls
by James Ball and Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, August 9, 2013

Exclusive: Spy agency has secret backdoor permission to search databases for individual Americans' communications.

The National Security Agency has a secret backdoor into its vast databases under a legal authority enabling it to search for US citizens' email and phone calls without a warrant, according to a top-secret document passed to the Guardian by Edward Snowden.

— Detail of Section 702 of the Fisa Amendments Act (FAA) —
NSA has authority to target without warrant the communications of foreign targets
document photograph by

The previously undisclosed rule change allows NSA operatives to hunt for individual Americans' communications using their name or other identifying information. Senator Ron Wyden told the Guardian that the law provides the NSA with a loophole potentially allowing "warrantless searches for the phone calls or emails of law-abiding Americans".

The authority, approved in 2011, appears to contrast with repeated assurances from Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials to both Congress and the American public that the privacy of US citizens is protected from the NSA's dragnet surveillance programs.

The intelligence data is being gathered under Section 702 of the of the Fisa Amendments Act (FAA), which gives the NSA authority to target without warrant the communications of foreign targets, who must be non-US citizens and outside the US at the point of collection.

The communications of Americans in direct contact with foreign targets can also be collected without a warrant, and the intelligence agencies acknowledge that purely domestic communications can also be inadvertently swept into its databases. That process is known as "incidental collection" in surveillance parlance.

But this is the first evidence that the NSA has permission to search those databases for specific US individuals' communications. [a.k.a. "blow me America!"]

A secret glossary document provided to operatives in the NSA's Special Source Operations division – which runs the Prism program and large-scale cable intercepts through corporate partnerships with technology companies – details an update to the "minimization" procedures that govern how the agency must handle the communications of US persons. That group is defined as both American citizens and foreigners located in the US.

read news story on The Guardian

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Poster: belmon28 Date: Aug 11, 2013 2:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What It’s Like to Tell NSA and DEA 'blow me!!'

The DEA and other government agencies such as the ATF, need to be dissolved. Much like the NSA the DEA has used the post 9/11 climate to their advantage. Not only do they steal from the public, they seem to be breaking the basic tenants of the constitution as well. The only way to stop this abuse of power is to start a legitimate third party, That is not beholden to the corporate dollar. What scum. " jack booted thugs" is an apt term

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Aug 12, 2013 9:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What It’s Like to Tell NSA and DEA 'blow me!!'

what's Fort Collins Police Chief John Hutto up to?
Fort Collins police encrypt their public radio broadcast on March 27, 2013

Fort Collins Police Services is encrypting all routine radio traffic so the public can’t listen in with smartphone apps or scanners!

Through an agreement with police, the Coloradoan will have continued access to the main dispatch channel in order to continue to report on city police activity.

Police Chief John Hutto said the decision to take most emergency traffic off the public airwaves was made to improve officer safety and to prevent exposure of citizens’ private information.

Police are on a weekly basis arriving on scenes to find out people — often suspects — have known they were coming because they were listening to smartphone apps, and Hutto said he’s not waiting for an officer to get hurt before making the change.

Lindsay Blanton III, CEO of, the largest website to transmit public radio waves, said agencies across the country in such metro areas as New York and Los Angeles don’t encrypt routine operations, only tactical SWAT and narcotics channels.

“The chief is definitely taking a hard-line stance against allowing the general public to monitor routine communications,” Blanton said in an e-mail.

Only Fort Collins police Channel 4, used for coordinating with other agencies during special events, will remain open to the public. The Coloradoan by next week will receive a loaned radio for $100 with access to FCPS’ main channel for dispatching and coordinating calls.

Other channels for data, car-to-car communications and tactical operations will be limited to police. Multiple discussions the past several months led to the agreement between the Coloradoan and police.

Hutto said he understands concerns for police transparency. A document to outline more details of the agreement is pending.

The encryption takes effect at 7 a.m. Tuesday, and the technology results from the purchase of a $1.7 million Motorola APX 6000 radio system that FCPS saved for during the past decade.

Meanwhile, other area emergency responders aren’t poised to encrypt radio transmissions. Poudre Valley EMS uses scanners to listen to police traffic like anyone else in the public, and they’ve sometimes been patched into police channels for events in which they cooperate. But encryption will end that, said EMS spokesman Wyandt Holmes.

Poudre Valley EMS will have to buy special radios for its tactical EMS team to communicate with police. Street crews will have to rely on computer-aided dispatch terminals for police information, as they won’t have access to routine police radio traffic, he said.

Hutto said he expects most law-enforcement radio transmissions will be encrypted within the next five years.

Blanton disagrees. He said many agencies “value open access” and would never encrypt routine operations.

read story reported by Robert Allen in The Coloradoan

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Aug 12, 2013 8:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What It’s Like to Tell NSA and DEA 'blow me!!'

By Joseph Goldstein, Aug 12, 2013

Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violated Rights, Judge Rules

In a repudiation of a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy, a federal judge has found that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in New York, and called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms.

In a decision issued on Monday, the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, ruled that police officers have for years been systematically stopping innocent people in the street without any objective reason to suspect them of wrongdoing. Officers often frisked these people, usually young minority men, for weapons or searched their pockets for contraband, like drugs, before letting them go, according to the 195-page decision.

These stop-and-frisk episodes, which soared in number over the last decade as crime continued to decline, demonstrated a widespread disregard for the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, according to the ruling. It also found violations with the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

Judge Scheindlin found that the city “adopted a policy of indirect racial profiling by targeting racially defined groups for stops based on local crime suspect data.” She rejected the city’s arguments that more stops happened in minority neighborhoods solely because those happened to have high-crime rates.

I also conclude that the city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner,” she wrote.

Relying on a complex statistical analysis presented at trial, Judge Scheindlin found that the racial composition of a census tract played a role in predicting how many stops would occur.

She emphasized what she called the “human toll of unconstitutional stops,” noting that some of the plaintiffs testified that their encounters with the police left them feeling that they did not belong in certain areas of the cities. She characterized each stop as “a demeaning and humiliating experience.”

No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life,” the judge wrote. During police stops, she found, blacks and Hispanics “were more likely to be subjected to the use of force than whites, despite the fact that whites are more likely to be found with weapons or contraband.”

full story at New York Times

I was never stopped and frisked at any GD concerts or any other shows I've attended in my lifetime. I've never been stopped and frisked going to ball games, going on hiking and camping trips, going on bicycle rides, or going to the food store. I have been pulled over and stopped numerous time by cops who terrorized me for driving while hippie.

I cannot imagine people attending any type of "secure" outdoors event these days: no water bottles or containers allowed in; no pocket knife or nail clipper; no backpacks allowed; no umbrella for you; no rain-gear for you; no extra warm/dry clothing for you; and no food stuffs allowed in. Just bring your Visa Card. You'll be scanned, patted down and frisked at the gate.

This post was modified by Monte B Cowboy on 2013-08-12 15:40:35